Education  India Project #24545

Support Abandoned Mentally Challenged Children

by Sri Arunodayam Charitable Trust
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Support Abandoned Mentally Challenged Children
Support Abandoned Mentally Challenged Children
Support Abandoned Mentally Challenged Children

Dear Friends of Sri Arunodayam!

I hope all is well with you. I am happy to share this report. We commemorated International Day of Persons with Disabilities through Special Advocacy Programs.

To show our solidarity with persons with disabilities, we conducted awareness and advocacy programs that touched on key disability issues, mainly to try and create a paradigm shift in existing mind-sets concerning disability.

1. Released a short film on the rights of the differently abled We aired a short film with a powerful message, through YouTube and Facebook channels which went viral with over 90,000 views on FB alone! The special child and the elderly man in the film very skillfully emote an important message worth repeating: “the intellectually disabled don't have a choice about their condition, but we have the choice to accept them unconditionally!”

2. Awareness Rally at Marina Beach (Chennai City) Around 50 of our special children, caregivers and staff conducted an awareness Rally by the Labor Statue on Marina Beach from 3.30 pm to 5.00 pm. They carried bi-lingual placards (in Tamil and English) with key messages on the subject of mental retardation. Mrs. Sudha Ramalingam, a prominent Social Activist & Senior Advocate was our Chief Guest, and Actor Shanthanu Bhagyaraj was our Guest of Honor for this event.

3. Sri Arunodayam’s Credentials

The only way to get society to assume its responsibility towards the intellectually disabled is to consistently engage them in causes that expose them to crucial learnings and thinking on the subject. Simple awareness programs conducted in schools and colleges can help educate and shape young minds on the do’s and don’ts, so that they and their future offspring are spared much anguish and pain.

As an authority on Mental Retardation and a certified Government partner in the rehabilitation of abandoned mentally challenged children in Chennai for over 15 years, Sri Arunodayam has accumulated extensive research and experience in this field. For a society to be educated and sufficiently transformed there is a critical need for sustained awareness and that’s why Sri Arunodayam is widening its “societal transformation” programs to include such events.

Thank you so much for being a part of this nobile cause! We will together make a difference in the lives of differently of abled. Best wishes to everyone of you.

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Staff entertain the children1
Staff entertain the children1

Celebrating the joy of childhood!

“Children are like buds in a garden and should be carefully and lovingly nurtured, as they are the future of the nation and the citizens of tomorrow.” - Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s First Prime Minister

It’s a day we can never afford to forget at Sri Arunodayam – especially with 106 children in our midst!  We decided to make it a day of celebration and fun, learning and healing. How we managed all that, you might ask. Here’s how.

Variety Entertainment Program – Staff entertain the Children!

This being their (children’s) day, we decided that a twist in the program would be most appropriate. Instead of the children doing the entertaining, the staff entertained them this time around through a variety program of song, dance and drama that were wildly funny but also carried good moral lessons for the children to learn. United Way Chennai CEO Mrs. Shyamala Ashok was our Chief Guest. The morning passed with much laughing and noise, music and dance.

Special Lunch – for a special day!

The children and staff were served a sumptuous meal topped with desserts like bread halva and ice-cream!

A visit to Premapuri – ‘healing the generations’ program

By around 3.00 pm we all trooped off in a chartered bus to Premapuri, an ashram for the abandoned aged at Thirumullaivoyal. The children and the old folk shared tea and snacks together and got along fine. We figured this would be an ideal opportunity to begin connecting these generations and letting them heal, together. We are really happy that this first connect was a success and we will be making the visit to Premapuri or having the grandparents over as a regular part of our ‘healing the generations’ program.

A visit to the beach – What better way to have fun!
Then, we took the children out to the beach and they went simply wild with joy. And we let them! There’s really nothing like the sun, sand and the inviting cool of the water to make anyone’s day! They played volleyball, ate pizza, and generally chilled out by the beach. That’s how Children’s Day celebrations culminated at Sri Arunodayam, and no one could have been happier than these little ones!

 

Staff entertain the children2
Staff entertain the children2
Children spending time with the aged1
Children spending time with the aged1
Children spending time with the aged 2
Children spending time with the aged 2
At the beach1
At the beach1
At the beach2
At the beach2
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With the World of Children Founders and Honorees
With the World of Children Founders and Honorees

Sri Arunodayam is happy to announce that its Founder - Iyyappan Subramaniyan received the prestigious World of Children® Award 2016 at a special function held in New York City, USA on October 27, 2016.

Iyyappan is one among only Five Child Advocates from across the world, to be chosen for their heroic work with vulnerable children. Iyyappan received the Humanitarian Award, a new category introduced by World of Children®. He was selected for his work with children living with intellectual and developmental disabilities. You will get the entire story here: http://www.worldofchildren.org/honoree/iyyappan-subramaniyan/

This year’s five Honorees were chosen from a pool of several thousand nominations from across the world. The nominations are reviewed by an International Committee of issue experts and top candidates are investigated by an independent international firm to ensure that their programs are of the highest caliber.

This is a great honor for Sri Arunodayam, and indeed for India too, as Iyyappan Subramaniyan is the only Indian honoree this year.

We take this opportunity to thank you, dear donors, for your support of our projects. We wouldn't have been able to get this far without you!

Iyyappan receiving the Award from the Children
Iyyappan receiving the Award from the Children
Iyyappan making his Award Acceptance Speech
Iyyappan making his Award Acceptance Speech

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Feeding the poor1
Feeding the poor1

'Daan Utsav' - is India's own festival of giving, celebrated every year from October 2-8. It is also known as the “Joy of Giving” week. This year, Sri Arunodayam celebrated Daan Utsav by sharing “time, talent, and treasure” with the less fortunate - spreading and receiving tons of joy in the bargain!

Here’s a quick recap of programs we ran from Oct 2 – 8, 2016.

1. Share a MealFeeding the Homeless: Every day, from the 2nd to the 8th, our young adults and caregivers cooked and distributed hot meals to the homeless in Kolathur and Red Hills. Both the givers and the receivers shared warm and happy moments together!

2. Rally for a Cause - Creating awareness about the mentally challenged among the public: On the 3rd, our children and staff conducted a rally at the Pudhur Bus Stand helping educate the general public on mental retardation.  It attracted the attention we hoped to stir as people kept coming up to ask questions and initiate conversations.

3. Outreach across ChennaiEducating the Educated: Every day, from the 2nd to the 8th, we conducted information campaigns by setting up stalls at Olympia Tech Park and IOC Bunks carrying our literature, and products for sale made by our young adults at Prayatna. We just wanted people to know that the mentally challenged are perfectly capable of becoming productive members of society with a little care and help!

4. Outreach to Village HomesRaising rice for underprivileged people in surrounding villages: Through our “Power of 1” campaign, we collected 3000 kilos of rice during the Daan Utsav week, which was distributed to orphanages and old age homes in villages. We chose these homes because they have critical needs which remain unmet just because they lack the visibility! (Special thanks to all our good donors and to the Lions Club and Lioness Councils for making this program a huge success.)

5. Teach a SkillSharing skills with young mothers in distress: On the 5th, our youngsters from Prayatna visited the Cancer Institute and taught 40 mothers of children with cancer, how to make lovely paper bags. It was a great sharing and learning experience for the mothers and our boys as well. Thank you Chennai Volunteers Team and Rinku Suri Mecheri for providing this wonderful opportunity!  

6. Fruit on FridaySharing fruits with Gypsy and Irular Children: On the 7th, we distributed fruit to gypsy and Irular children who come from very impoverished backgrounds. Without good nutrition it is difficult for these children to actually get through school. Although what we did appears to be a drop in the ocean, on the 7th, every child had a stomach full of healthy fruit!

“Fruit on Friday” Program – Sharing fruits with Gypsy and Irular Children

Other good things happened too!

Koyambedu fruit and vegetable vendors join our campaign!

On the 4th, we took our campaign to the fruit and vegetable vendors at Koyambedu (one of Asia's largest perishable goods market complexes, spread over an area of 295 acres) who willingly swung into action and donated fruits and vegetables. Although we were a bit apprehensive to approach them, almost all of them said it was for a good cause and generously donated all their rations for that day!  

What goes around comes around!

  • While we were busy giving to others, others gave back to us! In an act of kindness, SRM Dental College conducted a free dental check-up for our children on the 4th. Good dental health ensures that every other part of the body becomes healthy!
  • Our little girls were invited to see Navaratri Golu at a wonderful benefactor’s home. They were very excited by the colourful lights and the arrangements, and had a nice meal of sweet payasam and spicy sundal.
Rally for a Cause
Rally for a Cause
Sharing fruits with Gypsy children
Sharing fruits with Gypsy children
Teach a skill
Teach a skill
Vegetable vendors join our campaign
Vegetable vendors join our campaign
Raising rice for distribution to poor homes
Raising rice for distribution to poor homes

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Dear Sir / Madam,

Greetings to you from Sri Arunodayam,

I hope you are doing well. I am happy to share this happy news with you. Thank you so much for your constant encourgement and support.

Thank you very much, Global Giving Benefactors, for supporting this critical project! Your generosity is specifically helping 25 of our children overcome their physical disabilities.

Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a result of abnormalities in the parts of the brain that control muscle movements. Children with CP have difficulty with muscle control, coordination, and posture which is affected to varying degrees due to the faulty development or damage to areas of their brain. Although it is not progressive, CP is a permanent condition, and a lack of appropriate positioning and active muscle use could make matters worse. The sooner intervention is started for children with CP, the better chance they have of overcoming their developmental disabilities and learning new ways to accomplish challenging tasks.

25 of our children suffer with this condition and are unable to move without assistance. The CP chairs will help correct their posture andhelp them be able to participate in regular activities and also dine together with the other children. Our physiotherapists are also delighted because these chairs act as extensions to their physiotherapy sessions, and the more time the children spend in them the better their chances of correcting any spinal or posture defects. The chairs were made to order. Each chair has two padded extensions by the head (which act as a neck brace), a soft belt, a padded seat, and a small attached table top (as you can see in the picture alongside). The padded extensions ensure full head control while the belt built into the center of the chair helps keep the child’s spine erect when seated or standing. As the posture is being corrected, the child can use his/her hands to either play with toys or scribble and draw, or learn to feed with assistance until the child becomes independent.

Sri Arunodayam thanks you once again, dear donors. These children have a chance to experience a fairly normal and happy life because of your kind generosity!

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Organization Information

Sri Arunodayam Charitable Trust

Location: Chennai, Tamil Nadu - India
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @sri_arunodayam
Sri Arunodayam Charitable Trust
Iyyappan Subramanian
Project Leader:
Iyyappan Subramanian
Founder Managing Trustee
Chennai, Tamil Nadu India

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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